Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 4

weekly wrap upI am just plain exhausted, but honestly, I love doing these posts because I can look back and see what we’ve accomplished. It’s just such a great way to informally record what happens when in our homeschool. I’ve said I want to print my blog into a book someday; it would be pretty nifty to do all the weekly wrap-ups in one little record-keeping book, wouldn’t it?

We took Monday off, since Ken was off work and Lindsey had no classes and no assignments. It was a much-needed break for us all. Kathryn had no chess class this week, but Lindsey did still have her driving class, her regular color-guard practices, and assignments/classes as usual from Tuesday on.

This week was my monthly homeschool moms’ support group meeting, and the format this time around was having five “mentor moms” up front answering questions sent in by email in previous weeks. There was over fifty years homeschooling experience and twenty-two children combined between these five ladies, so the rest of us listened carefully!
homeschool support group meetingFor me, there really weren’t any I-never-thought-of-that moments for me, but there were some very timely reminders. For me, the biggest one was this: God has prepared good works for us to do in advance (Ephesians 2:10), which means that He will enable us to do all these works — like homeschool our children. And furthermore, He has prepared good works for our children to do in advance, so even if they struggle with math or anything else, He will equip them to do whatever good works He has prepared for them as well; we as their parents have been appointed to disciple them along the way. Another big reminder for me: attitude and character development must come first; academics must never come first in importance. This idea comes straight from Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.

The advice from the mentor moms reinforced some other things I was already thinking, too, and I’m re-evaluating some of what we’re doing in our homeschool. For instance, I’ve realized some of the things I hoped to include for Lindsey would just be too much added on top of her assignments from the hybrid academy. Lindsey does not love learning, and it’s because of the educational experience she had in her early years. If I add anything to her workload, it needs to be enjoyable. And I need to be very careful not to overload Kathryn, either; she does love learning and I don’t ever want that to change.

I’ve been very pleased with Lindsey’s improved attitude towards her schoolwork this week. She still doesn’t like it, but there have been far less tears and complaining this week. She also took the initiative to start getting herself up and out of bed in the mornings, without prompting from me. As she put it, “I’m almost 16; I ought to be able to get up on my own.” Yep, I agree!

Kathryn has been a super helper all during the week, and today she and I babysat for two little ones. She does such a great job with young children, and will make such a great mom someday! I proud of the more responsible way both girls have been acting recently. I posted more about how we’re teaching honor here: “Why I Gave My Kid Dirt.”

A few more specifics for Kathryn’s homeschool week: history studies are continuing on the same topics, early explorers and early Americans. Our new concept in Horizons Math this week has been identifying prime numbers and factoring composite numbers. She is almost daily writing in a personal journal now, quite likely inspired by many of the diary-style historical fiction books she’s been reading. In Christian Kids Explore Biology, we finished up a unit on Mammals in the Wild, and will begin a unit on humans next week. Wordly Wise introduced the concept of latin root words, which always fascinates me. And I’m liking the laid-back way Simply Grammar is covering the basic parts of speech; even Lindsey said she learned some things as she overheard us reading on the couch, and Kathryn can now tell me what nouns, verbs, and adjectives are.